Sigh. I remember a time when all I needed on any trip would fit in one of those beautiful small wheely suitcases. I’d pack a few hours before, swing all my belongings effortlessly into a cab, run into the airport, stand in virtually no security line, and ease into my airplane seat. And then a few minutes later, a nice stewardess would serve me free drinks and food.
Am I dreaming or did I see that in a movie somewhere? I swear it happened.
We are leaving tomorrow for a road trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania for the Fourth of July weekend and I’ve barely started packing for our family of four. That’s not like me. I usually start packing days ahead of time. But at this point I’d rather dream of someone else doing the packing while I sip my coffee.
For me, traveling is an exciting adventure. But one of the things that makes it a nerve-wracking and anxiety-wrenching activity is packing for the girls. All the crap they need befuddles me – the double amount of clothes, the diapers, the wipes, the toys, the snacks (C. is a walking eating machine). And then the complete unpredictability of their nature (did I mention my princesses were actually cavemen in disguise?) I used to try to pack for every possible scenario – and then when the TSA patted J. down for a sippy cup with apple juice I just HAD to have, I decided that I probably could get by with a bit less. Lets be real – I was being neurotic.
So when it comes to packing for our family for any travels, I stick to some basic rules:
1) You can never have enough underwear and/or diapers. Really, this needs no explanation.
2) You can never have enough dry food. Sure; I’m all for trying experiencing new food in different places but there is something great about always having a reliable graham cracker nearby in case of a toddler meltdown.
3) Apps are your friend. I download a few new ones every time we travel. Yes, I’m that mom whose preschooler has taken over her iPad. Go ahead, judge me. I also bought these toddler headphones and my 4 year old freaks out when she gets to wear them. We can sit her next to complete strangers as long as she gets to wear her headphones and watch a movie.
4) Be selfish. Always pack a magazine for myself; on that very slim off chance I may get 4.5 seconds to read something I most certainly don’t want it to be the in-flight magazine.
And unless I am going backpacking in the middle of nowhere (and that certainly doesn’t sound like something I would do) – there are going to be stores where I can buy things. Like extra clothes. Or A.’s favorite sippy fruit snack. Or the soundtrack of Frozen theyjusthadtohave.
So I guess can relax. And leave the packing until, well, a few hours before. Now I’m going to have another cup of coffee and pick out my magazine.